Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Sustainable Development, Germany | Fully-funded

Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Sustainable Development, Germany | Fully-funded

The Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Sustainable Development is a fully-funded for postdoctoral and experienced researchers contributing to sustainable development, from developing or transition countries in accordance with OECD (excluding PR China and India).

Overview of The Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Sustainable Development

The Georg Forster Research Fellowship is awarded by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation to above-averagely qualified researchers in all fields from developing and emerging nations (see list of nations, PDF). With this fellowship, the Humboldt Foundation gives researchers from certain nations sponsorship equal to the Humboldt Research Fellowship in recognition of their significant contribution to the achievement of the UN’s 17 sustainable development goals.

We encourage you to visit the following guides for additional information regarding the Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Sustainable Development: (i) Information for hosts (ii) Information for expert reviewers (iii) Information for independent peer reviewers (iv) Information for independent peer reviewers (v) Programme information for postdocs (PDF, 150 KB) (vi) Programme information for experienced researchers (PDF, 151 KB) (vii) Research fellows in portrait (viii) Recently selected fellows

Important Information

The Humboldt Research Fellowship is open to researchers from developing and transitioning nations whose work has little to no direct bearing on the advancement of their home country. Please utilise the Programme Compass for more assistance if your programme search reveals both Fellowships. When choosing the programme that most closely matches your profile, it offers the best available support. Only Brazilian researchers are eligible to apply for the Capes-Humboldt Research Fellowship.

Additionally, internationally renowned scientists from developing and transitional nations are awarded the Georg Forster Research Award by the Humboldt Foundation.

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What You Get During Your Research Stay in Germany

The Georg Forster Research Fellowship allows international researchers to conduct their own research in Germany, with host institutions potentially receiving a subsidy for research costs. The Georg Forster Research Fellowship and Humboldt Research Fellowship provide the following additional sponsorship benefits for fellows:

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Benefits for Postdoc

The Georg Forster Research Fellowship offers postdoctoral researchers the opportunity to conduct research in Germany, with a monthly fellowship amounting to €2,670, lasting 6-24 months.

Benefits for Experienced researchers

The Georg Forster Research Fellowship allows experienced researchers to conduct research in Germany, with a €3,170 amount, lasting 6-18 months and allowing up to three stays within three years, even if they are already advanced in their academic career.

General Benefits Conditions

In addition to the fellowship amount, the fellowship offers personal support, flexibility in starting the fellowship, and an intensive language course for the recipient and their partner. Additional financial support includes family benefits, private health insurance subsidies, and travel allowances for children and partners. The fellowship also includes an intensive language course.

What is Required of You

In order for your research to be considered for the Georg Forster Research Fellowship, it must significantly advance the development of your home region. You also need to meet the following requirements:

Language skills

For natural sciences and engineering: Proficiency in German or English is required.
For humanities, social sciences, and medicine: If proficient German is required for you to carry out your research effectively, you must possess it. If not, a solid command of the English language will do.


You must be a citizen of a developing or transition country – excluding PR China and India (see list of countries).

Place of residence/stay

Within the last 18 months, you must have lived and worked in a developing or transitional country for at least 12 months (PR China and India excluded).

You must also have at least a permanent job in one of the countries on the list if you do not currently reside in a country from the list of countries at the time of application.

Applying if you have lived and worked in one of the developing or transitional countries on the list for at least five years and want to stay longer is possible if you received both your university entrance qualification and your university degree, or your university degree and your doctorate, in Germany.

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Please take note that within the 18 months before the submission of your application, you may not have lived in Germany for more than six months in total.

Expert Reviews

Two reviews from experts are acceptable.

The Postdocs: Well-founded information on your credentials should be provided by your PhD supervisor and one other researcher, preferably from outside your institute.

Experienced Researchers: Important collaborative partners and/or researchers from other institutes, preferably outside your place of origin, as well as from your own institute, should supply the reviews.

Confirmation of The Availability of Research Facilities/Host’s Statement

You will receive a written confirmation that research facilities are available, a mentoring agreement, and a comprehensive review from a researcher at the academic institution of your choosing in Germany.

Eligibility Criteria for The Georg Forster Research Fellowship

The Georg Forster Research Fellowship is exclusively for post-doctoral researchers from developing or transition countries with above-average qualifications. Applicants’ research must address questions relevant to the further development of their region of origin, regardless of their field.

Eligibility Criteria for Postdoc

If you have completed your doctorate within the last four years or are within six months of completing it and can provide a written summary of your findings, and have been published in academic journals and international-reviewed publishing houses, you can apply for the Georg Forster Research Fellowship for postdoctoral researchers. If you fulfil the above criteria, and the criteria under the “What is required of you” section, then you can go ahead and apply now.

Eligibility Criteria for Experienced researchers

Have you finished your PhD, or any other comparable degree, in the last 12 years? Does your academic record include a long list of publications in scholarly journals and from publishing houses that undergo international quality control? If this is the case, and you meet the requirements listed in the “What is required of you” section, submit an application for the experienced researcher Georg Forster Research Fellowship.

You can still apply up to 16 years after earning your master’s or other postgraduate degree if a doctorate in your area or country of origin is not feasible or common, as long as your publication history is in line with your career level.

How To Apply

Kindly submit the required documents to the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation exclusively online if you wish to apply for the Georg Forster Research Fellowship.

Submit your application
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Required Application Documents

The following documents must be uploaded into the application form before you can submit your application:

  • Curriculum vitae (maximum of two pages)
  • Research outline, no more than five pages
  • An exhaustive list of your publications (see sample list in PDF format)
  • List of a few important publications (see example list, PDF)
  • Major publications
  • Doctoral certificate or proof that your doctorate was successfully finished, or proof that this will happen within the next six months
  • If necessary, a certificate in German language proficiency Notifications of publisher approval and/or acknowledgment of receipt, as well as summaries and translations of important publications not available in German or English
  • In addition, there are two expert reviews, the host’s statement, and confirmation that research facilities are available. Please be aware that only the host(s) and professional reviewers themselves may post these documents in a secured area. Once these documents have been uploaded, you can only submit your application. The application form contains further details and justifications.
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We will email you a written confirmation as soon as we receive your online application. We will let you know the expected selection date after analysing your documents.

Application Deadline

Every March, July, and November, the Selection Committee that is in charge of examining application materials for this programme convenes. Before the desired selection date, please email your completed application form together with any additional documents that may be needed. In most cases, applications are processed in four to eight months. Applications that are incorrect or incomplete take longer to process and frequently need to be rescheduled for a later meeting of the Selection Committee.

The date on which we receive your application serves as the deadline for fulfilling some formal requirements, specifically those pertaining to restrictions on professional stages and past visits in Germany.

You may start your fellowship between two and twelve months after being chosen if your application is successful.

We might give you the rationale for our choice if your application isn’t successful. Kindly send an informal email request for this information. Approximately five weeks after the decision is made, you and your host will get a letter with the result of your application. One cannot appeal a decision. However, if you make substantial improvements to the application that was refused, you are welcome to reapply. Unfortunately, you must wait a minimum of 18 months before reapplying in the case of applications that are unanimously denied.

Additional Information

Visit this page for additional information regarding the Georg Forster Research Fellowship for Postdoctoral and Experienced Researchers.

The selection procedureHumboldt Research Fellowship 2024
Source: Humboldt Research Fellowship